As you may know, my blog is named after a book called "Gold Wars" written by Ferdinand Lips. The entire book is available on free PDF download if you click here. Professor Antal E. Fekete emailed me just now to express how very proud he was to be asked by F. Lips to write the introduction. It is a beautifully written prelude and I have published it below for your reading pleasure.
GOLD WARS – Introduction
A “gold war” is an attempt by the government upon the constitutional rights of the individual. Why do governments resort to gold wars? Sometimes they want to wage shooting wars without raising taxes; at other times they want to indulge in “social engineering” through the redistribution of income. But in every instance there is one common thread: governments have correctly identified gold as the only antidote against their effort to build the Tower of Babel of irredeemable debt.
This book is much more than a chronicle of gold wars. It is also an account of the historic failure of “Esperanto money”. Over a hundred years ago a Polish physician by the name Ludovik Lazarus Zamenhof (1859 . 1917) created a synthetic language in the hope of removing the curse of Babel from mankind. According to the Bible man had become so conceited as to challenge God by proposing to build a tower that was to reach to High Heaven. God’s punishment for the temerity was to confuse the tongues of nations. The tower could never be completed for failure of communication due to the confusion of different languages. Zamenhof called his new language “Esperanto” meaning “the hopeful”. However, the hope was in vain as other synthetic languages such as “Ido” sprang up. The confusion of tongues, and the curse of Babel, has remained.
Calling irredeemable currency “Esperanto money” is apt. The Biblical story may be interpreted allegorically as an admonition not to challenge God by attempting to build a tower of irredeemable debt that is to reach to High Heaven. But the admonition fell upon deaf ears. Now God’s wrath is upon us. Currencies of nations have been confused. The tower can never be completed for lack of compatibility of means of payment. The hope of Esperanto money to remove the curse of Babel is in vain. Other synthetic currencies spring up such as the SDR (special drawing right), the euro, and so on. The confusion of currencies, and the curse of Babel, remains.
Ownership of gold is not about lust: it is about liberty of the individual. The gold standard is not a “game”: it is the embodiment of the timeless principle ”pacta sunt servanda” (promises are made to be kept.) Official hatred of gold bordering on the neurotic appears less irrational if we contemplate that gold, and gold alone, is capable of exposing the ever-present bad faith behind the promises of the powers that be.
The Americans who have defaulted on their international gold obligations in 1973 put great pressure on other countries that they, too, denounce gold. This brings to mind the fable of Aesop about the wolf that lost his tail in a trap. As he felt uncomfortable being so different from the others in the pack, he tried to persuade his fellow wolves that they, too, should get rid of this cumbersome and useless relic. But a wise old wolf pointed out to him that his proposal would have had greater merit if it had been made before his fatal encounter with the trap. Switzerland was the only country to point out that the American demand to shed the “obsolete” gold reserves would have been less disingenuous if it had been made before the dollar was dishonored in 1971. This tale, however, did not have a happy ending: Switzerland had to be humiliated for being so impertinent as to run a currency superior to the dollar.
Mr. Lips has written a wonderful book for the discriminating reader who may want to understand better the challenge to God’s authority involved in the construction of the Tower of Babel of irredeemable debt.
Prof. Antal E. Fekete
Professor emeritus, Memorial University of NewfoundlandSt. Johns, CanadaConsulting Professor, Sapientia University, Csikszereda, Romania